Guitar fans have three big blues-rock guitar shows to look forward to in The 21st Saloon’s Thursday 5:30 p.m. blues series. Popular Chicago axe-slinger Ronnie Baker Brooks hits the stage on Thursday, Aug. 21. He’s the son of the great Lonnie Brooks and himself a guitar star.
The following Thursday, Aug. 25, new fan favorite Mike Zito plugs in.
Zito’s high-energy, positive vibe and guitar power should appeal to fans of Tommy Castro or Hadden Sayers. Zito is a survivor who credits Walter Trout with helping him give up a drug-and-alcohol-fueled lifestyle. Zito has been gaining momentum on the touring circuit with a series of acclaimed discs for Eclecto Groove Records. Zito took home the 2010 Blues Music Award for Song of the Year for his tune “Pearl River.”
On Thursday, Sept. 1, The 21st presents Oli Brown. The name may not be familiar but this young English player is being praised as “the hottest young pistol in British blues” by Mojo magazine.
One of the baddest keyboard cats in the metro, Nick Semrad, is moving to New York City. His last show is Friday, Aug. 19, after 9 p.m. at Lincoln’s Zoo Bar where he’ll reunite with Sons of 76 & The Watchmen. Special guests will include Matt Cox and Darryl White.
Come down to the Zoo early and catch the Lil’ Slim Blues Band for the 5-7 p.m. show. See zoobar.com.
Sayers’ Hard Dollar
Hadden Sayers’ Zoo Bar show on Wednesday, Aug. 10, was his first in the area in support of his acclaimed new disc Hard Dollar. The gig showcased Sayers’ new quartet with a fine keyboard player added to his solid rhythm section. Sayers balances guitar power with finesse, restraint and an equal emphasis on soulful vocals and fine songwriting. His new disc is his best yet. Sayers returns for a 21st Saloon show on Thursday, Jan. 5. Sample Hard Dollar at haddensayers.com.
The Zoo Bar hosts an early show with the honky-tonk soul sounds of Dave Gonzalez’s Stone River Boys on Saturday, Aug. 20 at 6 p.m. After 9 p.m. catch the gritty, Chicago-style blues of the Kilborn Alley Blues Band. See kilbornalley.com. Soul man Terry Evans hits the Zoo Wednesday, Aug. 24 at 6 p.m.